What I want to learn by doing reviews of these singing apps (or vocal training apps) is:

  • Can you actually learn to sing by using an app?
  • Can you do a good vocal warm-up?
  • Are they a good introduction to the art of singing?

When I learned how to sing, starting over 15 years ago, there were no online tools. But I'm curious about online teaching tools, like online singing lessons and online courses. So how do apps fit in this spectrum? Would I recommend it to my students?

Sing Sharp (Learn to sing Gamified)

This is an app that's available on Google Play and the app store. 

I tried some of the options of the free version, to give myself an impression.

Pros Sing sharp

  • The melodies of the exercises are basic, which is good.
  • You can record and save your singing.
  • The option to test your vocal range is nice to have.


Cons Sing sharp

  • The vocal exercises where you sing along with the piano: my complaint here is that they start on an a s instead of singable consonants like v or z or lip trills.
  • In some exercises, it's not immediately clear what to sing.
  • No warning to not use he vocal range app before being warmed up.
  • The feedback/scoring system is a bit dubious: not sure if it's reliable.

Sing sharp: my impression

Overall I'm not really tempted to pay for the membership of Sing sharp. I don't feel very guided. Some exercises were not clear to me and I felt left to my own devices. There seems to be no option to sing in different keys. As an app for vocal training, it seems pretty limited. If you need a proper vocal warm-up: you can find tons of good ones on YouTube. The Karaoke option is nice, but you can find that on Youtube too.

Yousician


Youtuber Katerine Steele pointed me to this app: she runs a promotion where you can have a 14 day free trial to Yousician. The app can also teach you instruments like guitar, piano, bass and ukulelele. Here I focus on singing.



Pros Yousician

  • The sliding exercises that stabilize are nice.
  • The videos with explanation in person by the teachers.
  • It covers a lot of aspects of vocal technique, including exercises for the whole body.

Cons Yousician

  • Scoring system seems a bit arbitrary
  • You can't skip lessons.
  • Sliding and stabilizing exercises could cause trouble for beginning singers with pitch problems

My impression of Yousician

I like Yousician but would not recommend it instead of actual lessons. I doubt if it will take beginning students through their journey of learning to use their voice in a healthy way. But if someone already knows the basics of vocal technique, then this app is an entertaining and interactive way to practice.

Learn to sing

Learn to Sing from Edwell is only avaible on Android. I still wanted to see it, as it is so popular.

Cons of Learn to sing

  • Unclear and random bunch of exercises
  • Some exercises are too hard for beginners
  • No gradual vocal training

My impression of Learn to sing

The app makes it stressful and overwhelming to learn how to sing. I have no other word for it: it's a bunch of random exercises. There seems to be no system to it. I wouldn't recommend this app! It doesn't teach the basics of singing and the exercises are not feasible.

Conclusion

These were not extensive reviews: I first wanted to see if I'm tempted enough to dive into these apps more. Not really though. But to be sure, I haven't tried the paid options of these apps.

Yousician: my pick

I wanted to see how singing apps can help people who are starting out to learn how to sing. Is that actually possible? The apps I tested claim that they train you to be a singer.

So far, Yousician is the best one. It has actual voice tutorials: videos with singing teachers that demonstrate and explain things. They take you by the hand: how to do the exercises and start from a basic level. They give you enough time to prepare and do them.

And that's the thing that's missing in the other two apps. I didn't agree with everything concerning the technical approach though, even though some of the things were good.

The other two apps are not personal: they are basically a computer playing an exercise. The level of readiness that is required is higher and they don't always start with easy exercises, which would even be nice for trained singers who haven't warmed up. So what's lacking in Sing sharp and Learn to sing is the gradual build-up of vocalizing. In Sing sharp it wasn't thorough enough.

Still. If you don't know much about vocal technique, or if you're not sure if what you've learned so far is enough to be in control of your vocal health - I wouldn't recommend any app. Even Yousician.

Of course, nothing is as good as standing in front of a teacher in real life. But the next best thing would be an online singing course. So that even though the teacher can't see you, they can at least establish a basis, a system. The apps are much more limited.

With a heavy heart, I have to say I'm not convinced that singing apps are the way to go - YET.

But I would love to be pointed to apps that you think are good. So please let me know in the comments.

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